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Landscaping services include design, construction and maintenance work on someone else’s property – usually outdoor spaces. When providing landscaping services to your clients, you expose your business to certain risks and liabilities, including any loss or damage caused to the property. When dealing with clients, it is best to have a terms and conditions document. Well-drafted terms and conditions:

  • protect your business; 
  • set out the responsibilities of each party; and
  • help avoid future disputes.

You should attach your terms and conditions to your quotation for a landscaping project, and should also supply these to the client before starting work. This article will outline the main items your landscaping services terms and conditions should address.

Services and Timing

Landscaping services cover a wide range of work. Therefore, it is important to set out the exact services you will provide and what you do not provide in your quotation. This section should be detailed so your clients understand what they will and will not receive. For example, you should outline the timing of the services so that clients know when you will complete each stage of work.

Additional Services

Changes and additions are often required during the arrangement as circumstances change or unexpected conditions arise. Therefore, you need to set out a procedure in your terms and conditions of how the client can request any changes or additional services. You should reserve the right to reject such requests. If you choose to accept the request, additional costs should be signed and agreed on before proceeding with the services.

Payment Terms

Payment terms need to cover:

  • whether you require a deposit;
  • acceptable payment methods;
  • how regularly you will issue invoices; and,
  • when you require payment, for example, within 14 days. 

It is a good idea to include wording that states that if a client fails to pay an invoice after a certain period, you will cease providing services until they have made payment. It is also sensible to outline who is responsible for the payment of materials required for you to perform the services. Will you make the payments to your suppliers and then invoice them to your clients? Will your clients be contacting their suppliers and providing you with the necessary material?

Termination and Cancellation

As some landscaping services can take a long time, your termination and cancellation terms need to be precise. The terms and conditions should have a procedure for terminating or cancelling your services and should set out the consequences. For example, if the client wants to end the contract early, they might have to pay a cancellation fee. You should outline how much notice each party should give. Furthermore, you must ensure your clients pay for services already provided and expenses incurred before termination.

Client Obligations and Warranties

As you will be working on property that does not belong to you or your business, the contract should clarify that the client has rights to the property and the right to grant you access. Suppose the work requires approval from the council. In that case, you either need to ensure that the client has the required approval for the services to be performed before you start work, or you may wish to seek approval on their behalf and charge additional costs for doing so.

Australian Consumer Law

Consumer Guarantees

Any business which provides a service must provide mandatory consumer guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law.  These guarantees include providing services:

  • with due care and skill;
  • which are fit for purpose; and,
  • within a reasonable time.

Your terms and conditions should acknowledge these guarantees. 

Failure To Meet the Consumer Guarantees

The Australian Consumer Law requires you to provide a repair or refund if there is a fault or failure in one of the services you provide. Expectations for how you will fix any problems depend on the type of failure and any prior statements you made.

Limitation of Liability

All businesses should have a limitation of liability to protect their business. The Australian Consumer Law requires you to refund, repair, or re-do the services. Therefore, your maximum liability should be limited to what is required under Australian Consumer Law.

To protect your business, you need to ensure that your clients understand that you will not be liable for any faults or failures resulting from the client’s negligence or misuse. You should communicate that you will use all reasonable care and skill in performing the services. For example, if you install a water feature in your client’s garden, you should not be liable if your client uses the water feature other than for its intended purpose.

Website Terms of Use

If your business has a website, you need a Website Terms of Use. These apply to every website visitor, protect your website and limit your liability for your website. The terms of use set out your copyright and intellectual property rights and set out what your website users can and cannot do, including that competitors cannot use your website information.

Privacy Policy

If you collect, use and disclose personal information from customers, including using the information for direct marketing, you need a privacy policy to assist you in complying with the Privacy Act.  The privacy policy is between you and each person that you collect personal information from. It sets out what personal information your business collects, how you will use this information, and under what circumstances you will disclose the information to third parties. 

Your terms and conditions should refer to your privacy policy. They should also include a provision that by signing the agreement your clients have read, understood and agreed to the privacy policy terms.

Complaints Procedure

Your terms and conditions should set out the procedure should the client have a complaint about the services provided. We would recommend that you provide the contact details of your business for complaints or feedback.

It could save you time, money and a headache by having a professional draft your terms and conditions. Terms and conditions can address the risks involved in running a landscaping business and can ensure your business interests are well-protected.

Key Takeaways

If you would like assistance preparing terms and conditions for your landscaping business, contact LegalVision’s Contract Lawyers or fill out the form on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need to use terms and conditions?

Well-drafted terms and conditions can protect your landscaping business, set out the responsibilities of each party and help avoid future disputes.

What is a privacy policy?

A Privacy Policy sets out what personal information your business collects, how you will use this information, and under what circumstances you will disclose the information to third parties. 

What do I do if a client has a complaint?

Your terms and conditions should set out the procedure for if a client has a complaint about the services provided. Provide the contact details of your business for complaints or feedback.

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